Salamanders and things!
We come together with ideas for our Forest Dreamer friends each class but have no set plan. This way, our friends can really control how we spend our time together. Today, we had our map and set off on a scavenger hunt when we discovered “salamander circle”. This wasn’t intentional…our friends were looking for somewhere to eat and the stumps looked like a good place to drop.
There was so much to do in this circle…helping a stump decompose, balancing on the fallen logs, rolling stumps looking for salamanders and slugs, and digging in the green mud. The kids all scattered to explore this area and everyone had something that interested them. What started as a quick stop ended up being an hour!
After we left our “snack” circle, we wanted to warm up in the meadow sunshine. We set off around the pollinator meadow in hopes of finding the elusive sunlight. Suddenly, one of our friends exclaimed that they found a snake. In fact, they said they almost stepped right on him! Everyone quickly gathered around the little garter snake fascinated with its coiled body and flickering tongue. He didn’t really appreciate our curiosity and soon slithered away into the tall grasses. Sadly we didn’t have enough time to really explore and decided that we definitely needed to come back!
With the dropping temperatures we have made an unanimous decision to move out of the Glen and into the sunshine quickly. We sang our Good Morning song and then headed to the meadow. As we snacked and went over what items were left on our scavenger hunt, several of our friends were enamored by the milkweed fluff in the meadow. Rather than fight this attraction, we decided to explore the milkweed. Soon, the field was snowing fluff!
We were infatuated with watching the wind catch the fluff and drift across the meadow. Soon one of our friends said they were sending messages to each other. We watched the direction the seeds drifted to determine which way the wind was blowing. After we determined this, we decided that some of us would have to move so that the fluff would float to us. Several kids sent the fluff to the clouds in hopes that their messages would reach Santa!
After class ,we often ask the kids what their favorite thing was. For me, it is hard to pick one single thing. The snowing milkweed, the deer bed we walked through the tall grasses to find, the leaves that are slowing changing colors, or the tadpoles in the cold ponds… all are great choices. Well, we have one friend that exclaimed he doesn’t like nature and he didn’t have a favorite. This same boy had made a joke earlier in the meadow: “If you put a tab (milkweed seed) up your nose, when you sneeze, you might sneeze out milkweed fluff.” We reminded our friend that he had said this earlier and the biggest grin spread across his face! Then, all his friends started laughing and pretended to sneeze. So today, my little friend smiling and the group laughing was my favorite thing that I saw!